Japan really has some unusual cultural points. For example, going to work in the morning on the train, everyone is as quiet as can be. But coming home after a night of drinking and letting off some steam, it’s okay to talk loud and laugh.
It’s like walking down the street and smoking a cigarette has become socially unacceptable. But it’s quite okay to walk around with an open bottle of beer or even a cup of sake.
Public drunkenness is also acceptable and you see this quite often in the cities, but not so much in the countryside where more people tend to drink at home.
One interesting law that has come into forceful effect in Japan is the DUI law. The law states that, if you get pulled over and you get a driving while intoxicated ticket, everyone else in the vehicle also gets a DUI, whether they have been drinking are not. Now that is serious!
A lot of my customers love to walk around and drink because it is not acceptable in their countries. Even when we drive between Osaka and Kyoto, for example, we will usually grab a large bottle of sake and drink it on the way while the hired driver takes care of the driving.
There is no open container law. so we are free to enjoy our little party as we are carved through the toll gates to our next Destination.
I do not know how much longer that will be a ‘non-issue’ but with driverless cars coming around, and the law looking like it is going to change for cell phone users to be able to use their cell phones while in the (driverless) car, alcohol should be the next big decision.